Led by Supreme Court Judge, Honourable Justice Emmanuel Ekundayo Roberts, the delegation from the Sierra Leone Judiciary today joined other Judiciaries across the world especially within Commonwealth for a 5-day conference held in Accra, Ghana at Labadi Hotel.
The 19th Triennial Conference of the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges' Association (CMJA) is the only International Association bringing together judicial officers at all levels including Chief Justices.
This is the second time that Ghana is hosting such an internationally recognised conference. It was first held in 2005.
In his welcome address, the Chief Justice of Ghana His Lordship Justice Anin Yeboah
expressed delight, stating that it is a rare privilege and honour for Ghana to host "this all-important conference for the second time, the first being 2005."
"The theme for the conference, Access to Justice in a Modern World, is most appropriate, bearing in mind that modernity calls for responsive approaches in the service of humanity," said Hon.
Justice Anin Yeboah, adding that the effect and impact of the Covid-19 virus which struck the entire world
since the last quarter of 2019, have been far and wide."
Hon. Justice Anin Yeboah said even Judiciaries have not been spared to this deadly effect with serious challenges to justice delivery leading to the emergence of holding Virtual Court sittings.
He informed that Virtual Court sittings have invariably become the new normal.
According to Justice Anin Yeboah, the 2022 Triennial Conference is an important forum, which offers an opportunity for Judges and Magistrates to share experiences, knowledge and innovations in dealing with some of these challenges.
On his part, the President of the CMJA, His Lordship the Hon. Justice Charles Mkandawire, said the objectives are to advance the administration of the law by promoting the independence of the Judiciary, to advance education in the law, the administration of justice, the treatment of offenders and the prevention of crimes within the Commonwealth.
He stressed the Association promotes better understanding amongst judicial officers of all ranks and from all parts of the Commonwealth of judicial independence issues and to explore the approach to those issues in different parts of the Commonwealth.
Declaring the conference officially opened, Ghanaian Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawamia thanked the organisers for agreeing to hold such a conference in Ghana after 17 years since it was held in the country.
He said the Ghanaian President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is absent because he is outside the country for another international assignment that is equally important as the conference.
Vice President Dr. Bawamia said the theme is not only apt but timely, whilst urging all Judiciaries across the world to embrace the power of digital tool to access justice.
The Sierra Leone team comprised Hon. Justice Vivian Solomon (JSC), Hon. Justice Ansumana Ivan Sesay (JA), Hon. Justice Tonia Barnett, Hon. Justice Adrian Fisher (J) and the head of delegate.
Meanwhile, 56 independent countries make up the Commonwealth in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific. 32 of the world’s 42 small states are Commonwealth members, each with a population of 1.5 million or less. 2.5 billion citizens live in Commonwealth countries.